Monday, September 29, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
I am excessively spooked by everything supernatural, especially if it is about angels, demons, vampires, ghosts, etc. I have never seen the movie Poltergeist (but I did watch Ghost Busters -- that counts as a scary movie, right?)
I won't watch anything that deals with psychics, mediums, etc. I won't read or watch anything by Stephen King, Alfred Hitchcock or Edgar Allan Poe. To this day, I still have nightmares about the short film our high school English teacher made us watch about Poe's poem "A Tell Tale Heart" http://xroads.virginia.edu/~Hyper/POE/telltale.html.
I was never an exuberant fan of Harry Potter books -- with their true to life wicca practices, etc. I really want to endorse books or authors who excite young readers into picking up a book -- especially if those readers aren't really readers to begin with and when the books are written by a single mom... I desire to support her. Alas I am not a fan of magic. I am not trying to appear as a religious fanatic, but wicca practices... Nope. No way. Not going there. Can't read it.
Where is this rambling going...?
I love a good book but I always avoid scary stuff. Yet, my interest was peaked when I heard two co-workers talking about some teen fiction they were reading at the urging of one of their nieces. Since I am always looking for suggested reading, not to mention that I will soon have a teenage girl (well, hopefully the teenage change will hold off for at least another 5 million years. I simply can't stand to have her morph into "one of those" yet), I was interested and thus I began my journey into my first teen romance novel that focuses on the budding romance between a vampire and human girl. I think there are four books in the series by Stephanie Meyer. The first novel is titled "Twilight" and the second one is "New Moon". I am almost done with the second. They are entertaining, easy reads that bring me back to the nostalgic memory of bubble gum, teen romances I used to read back in the day.
Move over, "Sweet Valley High" twins, "Babysitter Club" friends, etc. These books are definitely more worldly and much more out there than what I would like to envision E reading in a few years, but I guess the world is changing...
Besides, I always like to hear about young, single moms who get a break and are successful. From what I can tell, Ms. Meyer is a total rock star to teenage girls everywhere. Check out her interviews on You Tube with different talk shows.
I fear I am now as deeply charmed by Edward Cullen as all of the other teeny boppers. Although I must say that Jacob Black may be much more my style. (Keep in mind I am still in the second novel. I truly hope they don't make Jacob turn out to be an awful character -- werewolf or not!) Point of my rambling -- they are making a movie about the first novel "Twilight" and its supposed to be released this December (?).
Let the screaming teenager madness begin...
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I have been on the outs with a sinus infection and strep throat. All I want in life (besides healthy, well-adjusted children, a better national economy and world peace) is some well deserved and much needed rest -- without small children screeching for me endlessly 12 octaves above normal peoples voice range, without having to beg my husband to "babysit" his own children
Oh! Woe is whining me...
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
Alrighty then! Been exhausted and overwhelmed. Husband traveled from Sunday the 14th thru Friday the 19th -- leaving me to fend for myself with a sick and nasty, crabby 22 month old and three year old for five nights and six days. Oh well.
I am trying to remind myself how blessed I am to only work part time so I can spend more time with the children. Sometimes it takes a little more effort from my squishy, forever sleep-deprived brain to remind myself how very lucky I am... I think I can survive today with no spousal support. I think I can survive today on negative amounts of sleep. I think I can survive today by struggling to not feel like I have caught the cold the little ones have. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...
Posted by Annie at 6:39 AM
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I’ve had all these things in my head for the past several weeks, but haven’t been able to figure out how to write it all out. Of course being doped up on Benadryl and other allergy meds the last couple of days probably didn’t help matters and since it is my birthday today, I am allowed to indulge in a bit of inner searching.
Anyway, I’m just going to type it all out on the computer and resist my urge to delete the entire thing for fear that it will only make sense to me and the rest of you will read it while shaking your head and thinking “What?”.
A couple of weeks ago, I watched Steven Curtis Chapman and his family being interviewed on “Good Morning America” and “Larry King Live”.
Honestly, part of me didn’t want to watch because the whole story has just broken my heart. The tragic death of a five-year-old girl hits really close to home when you’re the mother of four children under the age of seven.
But I watched anyway.
One thing came up in both interviews and brought tears to my eyes each time I heard it. After the events, someone told Steven Curtis Chapman that as he was being driven away in a car to get to the hospital where his daughter had just been lifted by helicopter, he rolled down the window and yelled to his devastated son, “Will Franklin! Your father loves you!”
I cried because it is such an incredible picture of how much a parent loves a child. That even in the midst of all that tragedy, he made sure his son knew that he was loved.
But even more than that, I cried because, for the first time, I realized that is how God loves me. How many times have I been crushed by my fears, my failures, my disappointments? How many times have I doubted, questioned, and wondered why things aren’t working out the way I want them to?
He whispered to my heart and let me know that in all those times, when I have been at my lowest points and at my highest points, He has looked at me and said, “Ann! Your father loves you!”
This shouldn’t be a new revelation to me. But it was as if I was learning it for the first time.
When I think back to my childhood, I don’t remember hearing much about God’s grace. I’m not saying it wasn’t being taught, it just never really sunk in.
Whatever the case, I have struggled with grasping God’s mercy and grace. I struggle with how He can love me so much when I so often feel like I’ve failed. And at the heart of that is a trust issue. Do I trust that His love is stronger than my failures? Can His grace cover my flaws? Do I trust that He wants to pour out blessings on me that I don’t deserve, but He gives them anyway because that’s how much He loves me?
Que more tears.
As I sat there, I couldn’t get the image out of my head that God sees me that way, that He feels that way about me. That I am His child and He longs to hold me close the same way I long to hold each and everyone of my babies close. He cherishes every single ounce of me, as I do them, but even more so.
I’ve read Psalm 139 countless times. I know He knows my thoughts, I know He knows my words before they are on my tongue, I know He knows the numbers of hairs on my head (a bit more gray than I remember), and I know His thoughts of me outnumber the grains of sand.
I know it because I’ve heard it before. But I felt like in the days following the Chapman interview. He began to really reveal to me the depths of His love for me. Not for all mankind, not for every creation, but, specifically, for me.
His love for the world isn’t general. It’s not an all-encompassing “I love my creation” thing. It’s specific. Specifically for me. Specifically for you.
In spite of who we are, in spite of how we fail, in spite of all our weaknesses.
Because, here’s the thing. He made us. He knows us. None of our shortcomings and moral failures surprise Him. God doesn’t sit in heaven saying, “Wow. I did not see that coming.”
He sits in heaven, with a deep longing to take us in His arms and say “Ann! Your Father loves you!”
Except He would call you by your name, not mine. Because He’s God.
And He knows your name.
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16
Posted by Annie at 7:01 AM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Have you ever worked with one of those neurotic co-workers who always have a clean desktop? A spotless, void of any mess, dust-bunny, or stray paper desktop that is the envy of everyone occupying the cube farm with you?
I think Einstein said it best: "If a cluttered desk signs a clutter mind, of what, then is an empty desk a sign of?"
Let me translate for you: Beware of neat people. They are probably stupid -- or at a minimum BORING.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Posted by Annie at 4:46 PM
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Spiders seem to be taking over, spreading their webs across every surface and corner of our yard. Every time I turn around I’m flailing to escape their thin, sticky threads.
So it isn’t a surprise when G announces, “Mommy, mommy. Yook a 'pider!" (Translation: Look! A spider... IN MY HOUSE!)
I should tell you that I’m not afraid of spiders. They’re little and we’re big and WHAT is there to be afraid of, logically? At the same time I wouldn’t say that I’m exactly a fan. Okay, truth is... I hate them in my house. They terrify me.
Efficiency is my primary objective as I pull off a piece of paper towel and advance on the unsuspecting spider.
Make a web in my house, will you?
G’s eyes widen as she watches me. She sees my diabolical plan written out in the whites of my eyes. ”Mommy? You’re going to SQUISH the spider and throw it in the garbage?”
“Well, ok.” she continues, “We can THROW it in the GARBAGE.”
I pause. This is not the message that I’ve worked so carefully to communicate.
In fact, just a few days ago I distinctly remember shouting something about DON’T SQUISH THAT BUG (ants on the sidewalk are a favorite target) BECAUSE IT HAS FEELINGS AND MAYBE EVEN A FAMILY!
And here I am, wreaking deadly violence on this small unsuspecting critter.
I need to take a different approach.
I sigh. “No, I’m not going to squish it or throw it away,” I tell G.
Carefully I hold the paper towel underneath the spider so that his legs catch on it -- all the while holding my breath for fear that it jump at me and try to infect me with a seriously dangerous disease. I carry it outside and fling the arachnid interloper into the yard. He’s airborne for a moment, before plummeting to the earth below.
I wonder if that spider will die from falling so far, I find myself wondering. Can’t it use it’s thread, spiderman-style, to catch a nearby plant and soften its landing? Or will it smash into the hard concrete and die an instant death?
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
I love when the children take out their aggressions in a "healthy" way -- such as a demolition derby on the neighbors patio. Hey! Whatever works. Don't knock it until you've tried it.
Posted by Annie at 7:36 PM
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
So a new school year began today and with it a new round of PTA meetings, Girl Scout meetings, student field trips, teacher conferences, yearbook committee (of one -- only me again?!?!?)...
Monday, September 1, 2008
Posted by Annie at 4:33 PM